LaWanda Fountain was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2009 and now, is an eight-year survivor.
“I am a warrior,” she said.
This weekend, survivors and supporters will take two days and walk 39.3 miles around D.C. It will take a toll on the body, especially the feet, but Fountain said she wouldn’t be anywhere without this walk.
“My grandmother, my dad’s mother, was an AVON lady,” she said. “AVON has always been a part of my life.”
She said walking the 39 miles is her way of helping: to show support and demonstrate how much she cares about her aunt.
“My dad’s baby sister, she is a 15-year breast cancer survivor now,” Fountain said.
She also walks for her mother’s birth mom, who died from breast cancer in the 1940s at just 39 years old.
Fountain was diagnosed at a young age as well. She was just 36 when she learned she had breast cancer.
“It hit me kind of hard,” she said. “I had no idea young women could get breast cancer.”
Fountain had never met a young woman with breast cancer or who had survived breast cancer, she said, until it happened to her.
Fewer than five percent of breast cancers diagnosed in the U.S. occur in women under 40.
“Going through treatment and knowing that I hadn’t done the walk in a while, I told myself, ‘one, I’m going to survive this; I’m going to beat this,’” she said.
She registered for the walk as soon as she could. This year, it will be Fountain’s tenth AVON Walk. Preparations, she said, are both mental and physical.
“My body aches, but my heart is good, my mind is good,” she said. “I’m happy because doing the walk, I’m helping somebody. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
In 2016, AVON Walk raised nearly $5 million. This year, of course, they hope to pass that goal.